Intra-Luminal Thrombus in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms as a Multiphysics Problem

Fanny Littmarck | July 20, 2012
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The most common type of aortic aneurysms is that which occurs in the abdominal region. When a person experiences an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), his or her abdominal aorta is dilated to the extent that its diameter is increased by over 50%. With symptoms lacking a sense of urgency (we’ve all ignored stomach pains before), if left untreated an AAA may rupture — whereon the victim’s life is on the line. An Intra-Luminal Thrombus is typically involved in AAAs, but what causes this to form? Here’s a view of this mysterious player in the formation of AAA’s through the lens of, you guessed it, multiphysics modeling.

Multiphysics Model could Help Explain ILT Progression in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

This morning we were notified of a paper on “An integrated fluid-chemical model toward modeling the formation of intra-luminal thrombus in abdominal aortic aneurysms” via one of the paper’s co-authors, Jacopo Biasetti, on the COMSOL Facebook page. As the title of the paper suggests, the research on the Intra-Luminal Thrombus (ILT) is of a fluid-chemical nature. According to the paper, the existence of an ILT tends to prescribe Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. It has previously been understood that the ILT has an impact on the biochemical and biomechanical progress of AAAs, but what causes the development of the ILT is currently unclear. In this paper, the group of researchers looks at aspects of the coagulation cascade to help understand how ILT is formed and developed. Based on their outlined assumptions, the group proposes a multiphysics model that couples fluid and chemical applications that may be used to help explain the mechanisms involved in ILT formation and development. This in turn, would help researchers understand AAAs.

To see their models and read more about the research of Jacopo Biasetti, and his co-authors Pier Giorgio Spazzini, Jesper Swedenborg, and T. Christian Gasser, you can find their paper in Frontiers in Computational Physiology and Medicine. Thank you Jacopo for sharing the link to your research paper!

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